Warmer weather arrives in Montreal alongside a new Cirque du Soleil show, ice skating Olympians, world-class theatre, film and dance, high-tech art, and an array of live music…
(springtime spectacles) Take springtime slow among music-making swings and large-screen video projections downtown, walk among budding trees in Mont Royal Park, or visit Montreal’s Space for Life, home to the Botanical Garden and the Butterflies Go Free exhibition until April 27. Spend time in a literary state of mind at the 16th edition of the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival, April 28 to May 4, with over 230 readings, discussions, book launches and workshops with writers from 15 countries. Or speed up your spring with a different kind of entertainment this week. Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, debuts in a grand circus tent set up for the occasion in the Old Port. Monster truck engines rev and mud flies at the Monster Spectacular XIX at Olympic Stadium on April 26, and some of Canada’s best ice skaters – including Olympians Kurt Browning, Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir – show their skill, athleticism and grace in the Investors Group Stars on Ice show, April 30 at the Bell Centre.
(theatre & dance) Non-stop entertaining musical-comedy 2 Pianos 4 Hands returns to Centaur Theatre April 29 to May 25, while award-winning playwright Yaël Farber directs Mies Julie, based on August Strindberg’s now-classic story of post-apartheid struggles in rural South Africa at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts, April 24-May 3, and contemporary British play Top Girls, about a woman newly appointed to executive status and the celebratory dinner party she throws, lights the stage at the Segal Centre, April 27 to May 18. France’s Compagnie Oliver Dubois bares all in powerful contemporary work for 18 dancers, Tragédie, closing the 16th season of Danse Danse, May 1-3. Montreal choreographer Estelle Clareton debuts her newest enchanting work of dance and theatre, S’amouracherat, at L’Agora de la danse April 30 to May 3. Persephone Productions lifts the curtain on Montreal-centric, witty romantic comedy Strawberries in January, April 24 to May 3 at Centre Culturel Calixa-Lavallée. The Phi Centre, DHC/Art and Danse Danse celebrate International Dance Day with Prêt à baiser, April 29 at the Phi Centre. Québec Danse presents choreography by Louise Lecavalier at Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts throughout the coming days – all shows are free, as are concerts in the same location by Quattr’Opéra on April 26 at 6:45 pm and String Quartet Eccellenza on April 25 and 30 at 6:45 pm, presented by the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. And eat, drink and practice your Italian at Pasta Opera, this time with traditional Italian Easter dishes set to a Broadway musical theme, April 25 at the Rialto Theatre.
(art & film) The 30th edition of the Vues d’Afrique International Film Festival opens this week, screening new films from Canada, the U.S., African nations and the African and Créole diaspora. See what dozens of Montreal commercial art galleries have in store at the Papier Art Fair, held April 25-27 in the Quartier des Spectacles at the corner of Ste-Catherine West & Clark Street – while emerging artists show their work during the OFF Papier fair. The International Digital Arts Biennial kicks off on May 1 at dozens of Montreal art venues, exploring the current state of contemporary digital arts with a two-part theme: Physicality, focusing on “the place of the body and the return of the material in relation to the digital.” Concurrently, the first Montreal Digital Spring runs until June 21, featuring over 70 exhibitions, events and discussions city-wide. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents artist-performers Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon’s exhibition Dreamscapes, 30 Years of Innovative Performances, opening May 1 – and don’t miss the last week of Peter Doig’s painting exhibition, No Foreign Lands, on until May 4.
(live music) On Friday night, Band of Skulls descend on the Corona Theatre, the music of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour comes to life as multi-musician and choral singer group Time for Pink Floyd play Le National, and indie-pop (and Morrissey) fans delight in the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, at Le Belmont, while the Howl Arts Festival presents 11-musician-strong orchestral group Regards sur le 7ème feu ensemble and long-time, Montreal-based experimental choir Choeur Maha, at La Sala Rossa. Party on Saturday night with The Knife at Metropolis – and afterwards, hit up the Knife Shaking the Habitual Official Afterparty, with VJ J’vlyn and DJs Head Nodders at the SAT. Also on Saturday night, famed Montreal ska band The Planet Smashers prove they’re still going strong at a 20th Anniversary show with loads of other bands at the Corona, while synth-pop-folk solo act Say Hi wins hearts at Il Motore. Sunday night belongs to the ever-enchanting and energetic Cher, who has no problem filling seats at the Bell Centre, while electronic duo Moderat play live at Metropolis and electronic dance-pop music duo Galantis set up at SAT. On Monday, hear new music from brilliant German composer and pianist Hauschka, at La Sala Rossa, and violinist Midori plays The Mendelssohn Concerto and more with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. The first day of May brings Montreal’s own electro-funk stars Chromeo to the Corona, chilled-out electronic musician Baths and Young Fathers to SAT, and a dazzling array of James Bond-inspired, musical burlesque courtesy of ACME Burlesque at Mainline Theatre.
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